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Old 12-29-2016, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Home emissions tester?

I'm starting a build on a 1975 MG Midget with a tired old motor and I'd like to see if I can improve emissions along the way as I rebuild it and replace/upgrade related items.

Are there any, say, sub-$200 tailpipe sniffers around for home use? I figure it doesn't need to be super accurate or registered for government use, so maybe there is a cheap one out there now. As I understand it there are six things to measure for, if a sensor could hit half or more that would be great.

I'd also be willing to weld in an exhaust bung for a sensor for some sort of hand-held unit in the passenger cabin. But this car will otherwise be 'old-school' and sans any EFI or ODB type equipment.

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Old 12-29-2016, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Only thing I can think of under $200 is a wide band oxygen meter.
I looked into doing something like this a few years ago and the cheapest I could find was $2,000 to $3,000 to test just for a few pollutants, HC, NOx, CO.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unless someone else knows of a cheap tester then I think plan B is to call around to a couple local shops and see if anyone has a tailpipe sniffer who would give me a readout for something like $20 per visit.

I wonder if shops actually have tailpipe sensors of if they are all ODBII type diagnostic to do repairs to meet state emissions standards.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Like Oil_Pan_4 pointed out, there are no cheap solutions to this. However, if you tune to lambda=1 using a wide band O2 sensor, you are most of the way home for HC, CO and NOx. I still use an old Hawk tester with CO and HC measurements. You can occasionally find these used on Ebay for a few hundred USD. But, I think they are over kill for the DIY.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With an O2 meter you can assume certain things.
Too rich and you will have high HC and CO, too lean and NOX will go up, go even leaner NOx goes higher and you start to get HC.

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